Hervey Bay, Australia (8th Feb 2008)
Hervey Bay was more of a necessity stop than a choice destination for us. We had planned to spend three nights there with the option of going over to Fraser Island but after our last attempt in Rainbow Beach failed we gave up and just kicked back for a few days in a town that didn't really have all that much to it. We booked our own accommodation rather than going with the Oz Experiences' recommendations as we were fed up with the usual backpacker chains so we opted to stay at The Woolshed, an independently run little gem with cabin style accommodation. After checking in to our dorm room we went for a bit of a walk to the Esplanade but didn't get too far as we got lured into an Irish bar called Hoolihan's where we settled in to have some tea and a nice refreshing pint of cider...bliss!
Upon returning to the hostel we realised something wasn't quite right as none of the lights were on and it was only when we walked into or dorm room and were smacked in the face with the heat that we realised there was a power cut and all the lights and fans were out.It was at this point that we were actually quite relieved that we hadn't paid the extra few dollars to have air conditioning and a television as the people who had surely wouldn't be enjoying it tonight! Needless to say it wasn't the most comfortable night's sleep we could have had!
We realised that we couldn't spend our whole time in Hervey Bay eating out so we woke up relatively early and navigated our way to Woolworths. It was only when we got there that we realised that the power was still off and so we wouldn't be able to buy half of what we were going for, nevertheless we got the essentials and then began the excruciatingly painful walk home with heavy shopping bags in the blazing heat, ah the backpacker lifestyle!! As soon as we unpacked and put away the shopping we decided to go for another walk along the Esplanade to see the Pier and Marina...big mistake of ours as the sun just got more and more vicious and the Pier seemed to be moving further and further away so yes we gave up and went to take refuge in the hostel! Our first choice of bunk beds were the worst out of the three as the bottom one was practically skimming the floor and the top one was hard as a rock. So when we returned from our failed walk and saw the other four beds empty we took advantage of the situation and moved all our stuff to the best beds. At first we thought this to be a good idea but Mark had severe difficulties getting out of bed, a sight that amused Kara greatly from the comfort of her bottom bunk.
We felt we had to do something productive with our last day in Hervey Bay so we waited for the weather to cool down a little bit and set out to see the infamous Pier and Marina. Off we trotted down the Esplanade and got way further than we did last time. Didn't last very long though as at the first photo opportunity we realised our camera was sat on the side at the hostel, we lost interest in the 4.5km walk to the Pier then as what's the point if we can't capture it on film. And no we couldn't just go back and get it as we were already half way there and that would just involve way too much walking! (Hence why there are a limited number of photos in the Hervey Bay photo album!) Instead we managed to amuse ourselves for quite a while posing for camera phone photos on the extensive range of exercise machines scattered all along the Esplanade. Now we can imagine that paints quite an unusual mental image but there really were all kinds of brightly coloured exercise machines secured to the floor along the pavement. Most of the machines used your own body as the weights which proved difficult to us and made us think twice about that gym membership we keep promising each other we are going to have to get when we return home. All joking aside it is a pretty good idea as lots of people go jogging along the Esplanade so why not make it a full gym workout, the biggest bonus being it's all free!
We spent our last night in Hervey Bay like many other last nights, getting a last look at Hervey Bay this time by night. It was our first and only trip to the beach with a stop off on a mini pier to start with. Getting home proved more of challenge than we thought, as a pathway that we assumed lead to the road actually lead us into a private camp site which in the dark appeared to be very enclosed with no clear signs of entry of exit. After twenty minutes aimlessly wondering around, getting close to scaling a fence we stumbled upon a small pedestrian gate onto the main road and we were finally free. So off we went back to the hostel for our last night's sleep in Hervey Bay.